Jake’s House Raccoon Unveiled at CNE Opening

Two weeks ago, members of the Jake’s House family participated in an art workshop at Immaculate Conception Catholic School as part of our Legends Mentoring Program. The artists collaborated on a unique project: the painting of a large raccoon, commissioned by the Canadian National Exhibition. Together, they created a colourful, Toronto-centric piece of art, Jake the raccoon.

On the morning of Friday, August 16th, it was unveiled at the opening ceremony of the 2019 CNE, along with other raccoons that were painted by various organizations and schools that support those with special needs.

Throughout the ceremony, many dignitaries spoke about a subject we are big advocates of: the importance and value of inclusion. They discussed how we can always find ways to relate and connect if we try. Mayor John Tory, for instance, suggested The Ex is an experience and a place that unites us when he said: “We can all come here. We can all ride the ferris wheel. Even if we can’t speak to each other.” Further, Chief Stacey LaForme, Mississauagas of the New Credit First Nation, so eloquently stated: “We are never so far apart that we can’t find common ground.”

Following this, it was very special for us to see one of the Jake’s House contributors, Jonathan, recognized by Jill Dempsey, the ceremony host, for his art work–and later brought on stage to cut the ribbon, marking the official opening of this year’s CNE!

We applaud the CNE for proactively working to invite people of diverse backgrounds, for creating an environment where all feel welcome, and for providing support and opportunities to communities like ours. Thank you for helping us all find our common ground.

Check out Jake the raccoon in the person–he will live on display at The Ex for the full season!

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